5.28.2015

Boston // Pt. 4


Read pt. 1 // 2 // 3

The very first thing we did in Boston was stop at John Adams' home. My brother in-law and sister are huge John and Abigail Adams fans, so it was a must! We had hoped the home would be open for tours, but we were one day too early. However, the grounds were open, so we spent some time outside, exploring, which was a welcome change to the driving.

I would love a yard like the Adams'! They have a beautiful garden, a green house, an orchard, a pond in the back, and the grass was covered in beautiful flowers! I was a little obsessed and couldn't stop taking pictures. In my opinion, grass should be covered in flowers like this, always!

We then went out for some amazing Thai food and called it a night. The next couple days were going to be really busy and the boys had to prepare for the big race!

to be continued...

5.22.2015

Chill Out // Share Funshine Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareFunshine #CollectiveBias

May is always a crazy month for families. School is coming to a close, tests are in progress, end of year performances and games are happening every night, and everyone is ready to just let loose. Since I know what a stressful time of year it is, I wanted to throw a little party for my family and a few of our neighbors. I wanted to get everyone excited for summer and help ease their anticipation for one evening, but I also reeeallly didn't want to throw your typical "beach" themed party... So, since we are in the middle of May when tension is high, and since it already feels like July, I decided it was time for everyone to "Chill Out".

This party was so much fun to plan! All of the food was literally "chilled" so that my guests could really get into the Summer mood. For the food, I went with a candy bar as well as some frozen treats. Including- M&M's® in all my favorite flavors, SNICKERS® Ice Cream Bars, Dr Pepper®, Skittles®, and M&M's® Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches. I even had a section just for the dogs at the party. This included some "chilled" (yes, I chilled the dog treats, too...) Pedigree Dentastix® Dog Treats. It was so fun watching our dog, Copper, sneak back for seconds... and thirds... I had to cut him off.

I was able to make my grocery shopping for the party a one stop shop at Walmart. Did you know that you can enter to win a $100 Walmart gift card, daily, with the "Share a Little Funshine Sweepstakes"?! Simply share your "Funshine" pictures with the hashtag #sharefunshinesweeps on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! Check out the widget, below, for more information. Also, be sure to download the Blippar app from your Apple or Android store to scan your package and receive exclusive content.

I had even prepared a fun game for all of the kids that were in attendance (since there were so many of them). It was really easy and a perfect game for those hot summer days!

To prepare for the game:
Soak a bunch of old, grungy tshirts. Wring them out a little, but not too much. Then fold and place in a grocery bag. I was able to stick two in one bag by folding the bag in half to keep the shirts from touching each other. Then place them all in the freezer for a day or two. 

To play the game:
Hand each participant a frozen tshirt. Whomever gets their tshirt all the way on the quickest, wins! They can use their body heat, throw them around, anything they can think of except use a microwave, fire, etc.

It was hilarious to watch the kids scramble to unthaw their tshirts. Plus, it keeps them busy for quite a while! (hint hint to all of those moms with bored kids this Summer!) The winner of our game was given an entire bag of Skittles®.

For my featured treat of the night, I wanted to do something that took me back to my childhood. I grew up eating those old ice cream push pops and haven't had one in years! Since "candy bar" was what was on the menu, I decided to make an M&M's® Ice cream PushPop. They were a big hit, really easy to make, and I'm loving having a few leftovers!

Items Needed:
PushPop Containers- I ordered mine online and received a bag of 25 for a small price
Ice Cream- Since I used M&M's® I stuck with vanilla flavored ice cream
M&M's® 

Directions:
This (surprisingly) works best when the ice cream is more solid than liquid. If it's pliable but not melting, then it's perfect! Using a spoon, press a layer of ice cream into the push pop container. Alternate layers of ice cream and M&M's® until you reach the top, then top it off with some M&M's® for affect. Cap them off, then stick in the freezer until you're ready to serve them. Be sure to pack the ice cream and M&M's® in as tightly as you can.

I loved "sharing funshine" with this Chill Summer party. Be sure to post how you're "sharing funshine" and enter to win a $100 Walmart gift card, every day! You can also visit http://cbi.as/8v0q and download awesome MARS, Wrigley, and Dr Pepper coupons.
Share a Little Funshine Sweepstakes
We all had so much fun at the party. It was the perfect way to wind down and give everyone the motivation to finish off the month, strong! How do you deal with your Summer Vacation Anticipation?

5.20.2015

NYC // PT. 3


NYC Posts 1 // 2

With 8 kids in tow, dining out is a stressful and tumultuous task. So my brother in-law and his brother decided to just grab some donuts from the next door bakery, and we could eat them in our hotel rooms. I didn't mind at all; I don't think there's anything quite like eating a sprinkled donut while looking out over NYC... I would pay a lot of money to do that, again. (and yes, I am starting this post off with two donut pictures... I couldn't resist!)

After we were all fed, we walked around the corner to Wall Street. We admired the Wall Street Bull (and miraculously got pictures of/ with it. It was a hot tourist spot at 9am), did some souvenir shopping, and explored a little. Then we headed over to the 911 Memorial and Freedom Tower. It was a very humbling and beautiful site. The crowd was more subdued and quiet, but there was a strong sense of Spirit there.

We then returned to our vehicles, battled NYC driving one last time, and made our way to Boston.

Not only is this architecture beautiful, but I also love the little (fake) owl!

If you could recommend or see one thing in NYC, what would it be?

to be continued...
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